Hello Black Swan is all about RAF Skellingthorpe, a Second World War aerodrome that was sited close to the city of Lincoln (the Birchwood housing estate has developed over the original site throughout the last 50 years+). Black Swan was the code name for this base. It was one of many emergency aerodromes established in Lincolnshire under Bomber Command.
For this project, we worked with the amazing children from Yr 4 and their teachers at Birchwood Junior School. The team established themselves as 'The Cygnets' and were the driving force behind what you will see, read, engage with and be part of via this website.
In partnership with Paradigm Arts and C1 Media, the children learned about the history of where they lived and even discovered that their school was actually on the runway! The children learned how to use professional media equipment and we were privileged to have the support of local people who came to talk to the children and be interviewed by them. A stand-out highlight was the interview with veteran Wireless Operator Arthur Atkinson of 61 Squadron. A big thank you to Arthur and everyone who made the interview possible!
A 1940's map showing the layout of RAF Skellingthorpe
The project was able to provide funding for some of the Yr 4 children to visit East Kirkby Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The Cygnet team, along with their entire year group, were able to visit the newly opened International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln. These visits really helped with the children’s knowledge and understanding of so many aspects of this important period in our collective history.
This Lincolnshire Memories and Memorials project has received Heritage Lottery Funding as well as grants from Armed Forces Covenant Fund and Lincolnshire County Council to help young people discover more about the history of their local area and how the local communities were affected by the two world wars.